I am thrilled to announce that we have reached the goal we set in December to raise the $300,000 needed to launch a new clinical trial for chordoma patients in 2016.
Thanks to the generosity of the chordoma community and a dollar-for-dollar matching gift from the family of a 17-year chordoma survivor, we are now halfway to being able to fund the two clinical trials we plan to support this year:
|Checkpoint inhibitor + radiation||Second-generation EGFR inhibitor|
|Led by teams at Johns Hopkins University and Memorial Sloan Kettering, this trial will test a type of immune therapy called a checkpoint inhibitor, meant to break down a defense mechanism chordomas use to evade the immune system. When delivered with radiation, which stimulates a heightened immune response to the tumor, this combination has the potential to unleash the body’s natural ability to destroy cancer cells.||A collaboration between hospitals in the UK, the Netherlands, and Italy, this trial will test a drug that blocks a protein called Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor that drives chordoma cells to multiply uncontrollably. Tests in preclinical models have shown that chordomas are highly sensitive to certain EGFR inhibitors, and there are case reports of patients having prolonged responses to EGFR inhibitors used off label.|
Both trial concepts have been endorsed by the Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Boards, and each presents a promising opportunity to find a new treatment option that could improve and extend the lives of patients with recurrent or advanced chordoma. The researchers who will run these trials are now in the process of finalizing the study protocols. Having reached our initial $300,000 goal, we are now able to support whichever trial will be ready to start first.
To ensure that BOTH of these promising new therapies are able to be tested in patients, we need to raise an additional $300,000. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll take a moment to consider making a contribution. No gift is too small.
Thank you for being part of our efforts to improve the lives of those affected by chordoma and lead the search for a cure.
Stay tuned for more information on both of these trials, as well as details about a third study involving a new type of therapy, also set to begin in 2016. It’s going to be a great year.